So it was interesting to see that Real Salt Lake did make another move, and it was one that I don't think any of us were expecting. Real Salt Lake traded a conditional 2014 draft pick to the Montreal Impact to pick up Justin Braun. It didn't take long for folks to ask what did RSL get by picking up Braun, and that if a fair question. Here is what I think Justin Braun brings to Real Salt Lake.
First we get a local kid who has some great local connections in the market and should be able to adjust quickly and easily to living in Salt Lake City, I mean he has lived here before. Local products are always good stories and with RSL having spent a lot of time and money building their academy system, having a local player is a great way to reach out to the young players in the community and show that hard work and talent can lead to playing in MLS.
Second, I think that he brings some unique things on the pitch, his size is one thing at 6'3 he will be the tallest RSL forward and we know from the matches he has played against us that he has a good engine and is willing to work hard for 90 minutes. I don't think it will take long for him to adjust to what RSL tries to do, but it could take some time for us to figure out the best way to use him effectively.
more thoughts after the jump:
Finally, we get a young (25 yrs. Old) striker who has had some success since joining Major League Soccer. While he was initially overlooked by MLS he was picked up by Chivas USA after playing in a tournament at the Home Depot Center and signed to a developmental contract. He had 12 starts his rookie year and scored 4 goals with a pair of assists, similar numbers in 2009 when he had 14 starts with 3 goals and 2 assists.
It was in 2010 that he started to shine for Chivas USA, he played in 28 matches and started in 24 of them and was able to notch 9 goals and 3 assists, his 9 goals were the most by any Chivas USA player in 2010. In 2011 he had another very solid year with 22 starts and 29 matches played in, he scored another 8 goals and added 5 assists as well, the 8 goals were enough to tie him for the team lead last year.
At the end of the season he was traded with Gerson Mayen to expansion side Montreal, for James Riley and allocation money. With the Impact he started only 5 matches and saw under 500 minutes of action, he didn't score but he was able to get an assist. He also has been called into 2 USMNT camps over the last few years.
So as I looked around to see what others had been saying about Justin lately, I found a couple of things that were very interesting. First up is a statement from Mount Royal Soccer via the Goat Parade as part of a preview of their match last month with Chivas USA, Justin's former team:
Justin Braun has been a hard working player and a team player but a disappointment performance-wise. Many observers (media and fans) have been very disappointed by his technical weakness for what he is trying to do. I understand where he came from in his soccer career but his strengths are still a strong physical presence, high pressure and 3 lungs. His ball control is lacking for what he tries to do but he compensates with a strong work ethic. With Bernardo Corradi coming in, he has gone down in the pecking order of strikers and with Marco Di Vaio coming in and Andrew Wenger, he will find it hard to find playing time.
Next up was just yesterday when Big D Soccer looked at some trades that could make an instant impact for FC Dallas and their number one player was Justin Braun, this is what they had to say about him:
1. Justin Braun (USA) - F - Montreal Impact ($102,000/$104,500)
This was the original name I posed and you've got to be thinking that MLS teams are sniffing around after this guy. You can see why Jesse Marsch wanted to bring him in having played with him at Chivas USA. However, with Marco Di Vaio as well as Andrew Wenger and Sanna Nyassi at forward, Braun has found starts hard to come by with just 12 appearance and 5 starts to his name.
Braun is a guy I've wanted in Dallas for quite awhile and considering Montreal only gave up James Riley and some cash for him, you wonder if he's a guy you could pry away from Montreal. I could see him easily slotting in as the backup forward at a price that you can certainly fit into the salary cap. With 17 goals and 8 assists in 2010 and 2011 combined, he's a guy that knows how to score and could really make an impact(get it?) on this team.
Cost: Drew seems to think the 2nd round TFC pick could get him, I'm not convinced it would be that low, but maybe throw in some money and an international spot and you could work something out. It would even be tempting to give up the first round pick if it gets the job done. Right now you absolutely need someone at forward and Braun could change things from day one
For me Real Salt Lake has often been a team build on second and sometimes third chance players, guys like Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, and Ned Grabavoy all had played somewhere in MLS before joining the current RSL roster, and even in our past since Jason took over we have done fairly well with some project forwards, as Yura Movsisyan and Robbie Findley both came to us from other MLS sides where they weren't burning up the league, but both came to RSL and saw their careers start to blossom.
It will be interesting to see how he is received by the fans, for me I think he provides what could be a very interesting option for RSL as we have seen teams both in MLS and in the 2010/11 Champions League try to bunker in against us, at 6'3" he provides a really big target up top if we should have to go that route.
Only time will tell if he can live up to his own past with Chivas USA or the standard set by past and current RSL forwards, but I am happy to welcome @jbraun17 to the RSL family.
So what do you think of this trade?
OFF MY SOAPBOX